Archive for January, 2009

I haven’t stopped laughing since I read that Wall Street bankers gave themselves a bonus from $ 20 billion of tax payer’s money. Remember Gordon Gekko? I’m thinking of the famous scene from Wall Street. And it’s also quite comforting to know that it doesn’t happen only in India. Just think about it – not a few thousand rupees, some dirty blankets and rotten bags of rice; not even Rs 7000 crores a la Ramalingam Raju, but 20 BILLION DOLLARS. Hell, these Wall Street bankers have redefined the word ‘ride’. It’s a humungous ride. I mean, these guys have just proved that they can not only screw millions of tax-payers of their savings, they can do the same to the Government and scruples be damned. You can only marvel at their chutzpah. The Merrill Lynch guy spent 1200 dollars on a new commode, for heaven’s sake, from the $1.2 million on a new office. In other words, the public paid from their pockets, so he could take a crap in the lap of luxury. People criticized Anil Ambani and Mukesh Ambani for presenting their wives with a yacht and a corporate jet. But that was their money and as long and as they pay salaries to their staff and everyone is happy, they could damn well do what they want with it. Right? But what about these real life Gordon Gekkos? The rest of the world quakes when the US flexes its muscle, and here are a bunch of crooked bankers who’ve just crapped all over Obama and his team. Hat’s off to you guys! You did to the US government what the rest of the world only dreams of doing!!


Oscar material? Hardly

Posted: January 29, 2009 in Uncategorized
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I posted roughly the same comment on Big B’s site but it wasn’t carried! At least I don’t remember seeing it there. But that’s ok it’s his blog and he has the right to refuse! It was about Slumdog Millionaire and I really couldn’t understand the OTT reactions to the film. It was good fun, entertaining and everyone hammed their way through it, except the little kids and Irfan Khan who were outstanding! But it definitely wasn’t Oscar material. The film was ‘inspired’ by any and every A, B & C grade Hindi film made in the past, so it wasn’t even original. Isn’t ‘originality’ a prerequisite for nomination to the Oscars?
Coming to all the noise about the slums being glorified and the seamy side of Mumbai, let’s not get so hyper. It’s there isn’t it? Ram Gopal Verma showed it in Satya and we called the film a masterpiece!
If we have the courage let’s remove Dharavi’s slums from the face of the earth. You and I know that as long the politicians play their games, it’ll still be there, and as long as it’s there, film makers will make movies around it.
And finally, just for our satisfaction, let’s replace Danny Boyle with Vishal Bharadwaj in the titles. Would the film have won or even been nominated for any of the awards it has now? Do you really need me to answer that?

Rude awakening

Posted: January 29, 2009 in blogging
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51 million jobs to go by 2009, screams the Hindustan Times headline today. This is like a broken record isn’t it? What’s a few million between friends? On a more ‘sombre’ note, I’ve just had a rude awakening after my first day on my own blog. I realize that since I am not an anonymous blogger I have to be prepared for emails from people who I name in my blog. I got an irate message from a particular young lady who feels that I should not have been “TELLING THE WHOLE WORLD THAT RECESSION HAS STRUCK” her…” My intention in using her as an example was simply to express my own anguish at her helplessness. She was one of my favourite students and my intention wasn’t to make fun of her loss. While I really don’t know how many people read my blog and how many know her, I guess she justified in expressing her anger at my comment. In hindsight I understand, if tomorrow, I have to tell people in my small world that I don’t have a job, how I would feel. After all, I’m a part of the recession-struck information technology sector, and anything can happen. It’s a mad, mad, mad world.
But away from all the problems that surround us, the picture should make you smile. It appeared in the Orlando Sentinel.

Distress calls

Posted: January 28, 2009 in blogging
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Today’s Hindustan Times said that 50,000 people lost their jobs in one day in the US. DNA went a step ahead and said 85,000! Wow, that’s a lot of people to have staring at pink slips in one day. But what is more interesting is a news item I read a couple of days ago, which said that a US Republican senator wanted the companies who were retrenching staff to first move against HIB visa holders and only then sack locals. I completely agree with that sentiment. Isn’t that what Jet Airways intended to do here? Strangely enough, no one from our government is protesting.

But jokes aside, things are really spiraling out of control aren’t they? A young lady messaged me the other day on chat and said “Sir, I’m doomed. I’ve just been issued a pink slip.” I could sense that she was distraught and frustrated. What use was that Mass Communication degree and her experience if after working for two years she was jobless for no fault of hers?

Another friend in the media called me a few months before and asked me if I could help him get a job in a recently launched newspaper in Delhi. I told him not to because I didn’t think the newspaper would last long. It didn’t. He called the other day to thank me!

Sadly enough this is the reality of our times, and not just in the media business but everywhere you see. When will it end?

No preaching and no teaching

Posted: January 28, 2009 in Uncategorized
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Before I go any further, let me just say that this blog doesn’t intend to teach and doesn’t intend to preach. Years ago my former boss, Joseph Pinto, coined a term for a column we started at the Maharashtra Herald. It was aptly titled ‘Musings along the Mula Mutha’ after the rivers that run through the city of Pune. These are meant to be just that…musings, though not necessarily along the Mula Mutha! That’s not to say I won’t answer queries (if any) some of my students might have. But I have never preached, so I don’t want this blog to get preachy either. Feel free to write in whenever you want, whatever you want, views, ramblings and a rap on the knuckles too, when you think I’ve overdone it!

Why me?

Posted: January 28, 2009 in Corporate Communications, Mass Communication

Yes, I’m here too! Why ‘Been there done that’? Well I’ve led an interesting life – at least according to me! I’ve worked at various times in a library (as a schoolboy), a hotel (at the front office in my first real paying job!), with the print media (from copy editor to Chief Copy Editor, Assistant editor to News Editor) and now handling PR at a software firm (Director, Corporate Communications), along with my teaching engagements at some of the Mass Communication institutes and working on a book of a well known cricketer! Seen and met so many interesting people (as my late mother used to say “it takes all kinds to make the world”) – some good, some bad, some downright offensive and some to who I owe a lot, but know I can never repay – but always interesting . Any regrets? Some…but otherwise I’m ok.. More later…Cheers